Archive: Society | Minorities Minorities

Police crack down on women’s branch of Czech neo-Nazi movement

14-02-2012 16:09 | Daniela Lazarová

Illustrative photo: Filip Jandourek The Czech police have cracked down on a group called Resistance Women Unity, a women´s branch of the Czech neo-Nazi movement National Resistance. Fifteen women were arrested and charged with promoting and supporting a movement aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms. I spoke to Miroslav Mareš of Masaryk University in Brno, one of the Czech Republic’s leading experts on far-right extremism, to find out more about the role of women in neo-Nazi groups in the present day Czech Republic.  More

Roma kids from special schools put Czech education system to shame in Great Britain

13-02-2012 16:17 | Daniela Lazarová

Thousands of teachers around the country are up in arms. They are unhappy about the government’s plans to gradually phase out special schools – or schools for children with a mental or physical handicap – and integrate as many of these children as possible into the education mainstream.  More

Icy temperatures pose threat to Prague homeless, Czech capital opens tent shelter

01-02-2012 16:31 | Sarah Borufka

Photo: CTK With temperatures in Prague expected to drop as low as minus 20 degrees in the coming days, the Czech capital’s homeless are at high risk. Due to the harsh weather, homeless shelters are already close to operating at full capacity. To help battle deaths from exposure city hall officials have arranged for a large heated tent to be put up for those with no roof over their heads.  More

Prosecutors rule out murder in north Bohemian shooting

13-01-2012 15:48 | Jan Richter

Photo: CTK Prosecutors investigating a New Year’s Day shooting in the north Bohemian town of Tanvald, which left a Romany man dead and injured another, have ruled out murder or any other premeditated crime. The investigators on Friday said the 63-year-old shooter was facing an intense assault by two Romany men in a conflict that had no racial or material motives.  More

Extremist lawyer claims judicial expert biased because of Jewish background

11-01-2012 15:36 | Jan Velinger

Michal Mazel Michal Mazel, a highly-respected judicial expert on extremism in the Czech Republic (whose testimony was crucial in such cases as the Vítkov arson attack and the dissolution of the rightwing Workers’ Party), has resigned after an objection was filed against his assessment in a current case. Lawyer Petr Kočí filed the objection on behalf of his client, a member of the extremist Workers’ Party for Social Justice, charged with inciting ethnic hatred, that Mr Mazel is biased because of his Jewish background. For the judicial expert the objection was the last straw; the move also shocked others, fuelling calls for the lawyer to be disbarred.  More

Vsetín faces Roma exodus

09-11-2011 16:31 | Pavla Horáková

Photo: the town of Vsetín In late 2006, Jiří Čunek, then mayor of the eastern town of Vsetín and later Christian Democrat chairman, made a controversial decision to move several hundred Romany rent-defaulters out of a dilapidated block of flats in the town centre and relocate them in a complex of portacabins on the outskirts of Vsetín. Now, five years on, most of them are choosing to move even further – as far as the United Kingdom.  More

Using classical music to help children out of poverty

22-10-2011 02:01 | David Vaughan

In this special programme, David Vaughan looks at a unique project to encourage children with musical talent who come from some of the poorest families in the Czech Republic. The project enables primary school children to learn to play with some of the country’s foremost classical musicians. Its success is a reminder of the power of music to cross boundaries of language, class and culture.  More

Roma rights advocate Gwendolyn Albert on anti-Romany rallies, poverty and the government’s strategy in combating social exclusion

03-10-2011 16:40 | Jan Richter

Gwendolyn Albert The Czech Republic recently saw an outbreak of tensions between the country’s Romany minority and parts of the majority population. People in the isolated northern Bohemian region of Šluknov began holding anti-Romany rallies to protest a growing crime rate in the region; the government reacted by sending in the police but also by adopting a plan to tackle the issue of Romany exclusion and impoverishment. To discuss these and other issues, Radio Prague spoke to Gwendolyn Albert who for the past 15 years has been working with the Romany advocacy group, Romea.  More

Expert on extremism: racism in mainstream politics poses bigger threat than ultra-right groups

03-10-2011 16:15 | Daniela Lazarová

The special Czech police squad for fighting organized crime has warned that ultra-right groupings in the country have been gathering strength and are now better organized and more active than before the 2010 clamp-down on extremism. The Workers Party, banned by a court ruling in 2010, has successfully regrouped into the Workers Party of Social Justice and ultra-right activists are making an all out effort to use the wave of anti-Romany sentiment in the north of the country to their best advantage. So far the public has shown little sign of supporting them –but does that mean there is no potential for extremism in the Czech Republic? A question for Klára Kalibová, a lawyer who specializes in hate crime.  More

Ethnic tensions rack north Bohemian town of Varnsdorf

23-09-2011 16:11 | Jan Richter

Photo: CTK The Czech Republic is experiencing something unseen in its modern history. After two decades of neglecting the problems of the country’s Romany minority, ethnic and social tensions erupted last month in a remote northern Bohemian district of Šluknov where thousands of people take to the streets every weekend to protest against the Romanies and their lifestyle.  More

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